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Turkish Cypriot side apologises for delay
2002-12-05 11:56:56

Nicosia, Dec 5 (CNA) - The United Nations have protested to the Turkish Cypriot side for failing to meet its commitment to hand over yesterday to the UN Secretariat its reactions to the Secretary General's November 11 proposal on a Cyprus settlement.

A written statement by the spokesman of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in Nicosia, Brian Kelly, said today that the Turkish Cypriot side has conveyed its apologies through the United Nations to the Greek Cypriot side, which gave its reactions on time.

Kelly said ''arrangements are being made for the receipt in appropriate and secure circumstances of the reactions of both sides today'', making it clear at the same time that the response of the Greek Cypriot side was kept in confidence by the UN.|

Referring to the events, Kelly said that ''yesterday afternoon New York time, 4 December 2002, the United Nations was informed by the Turkish Cypriot side that they were prepared to hand over to the Secretariat their reactions to the Secretary-General's 11 November proposal.''

''Since the Greek Cypriot side had indicated its willingness to provide the same once the Turkish Cypriot side was ready, simultaneous appointments were set up in New York and Nicosia - 11.45pm Cyprus time. The Greek Cypriot side handed an envelope to the United Nations at that time on the understanding that the Turkish Cypriot side was doing the same in New York'', Kelly noted.

''Regrettably'', he added, ''the Turkish Cypriot side did not do so, explaining that for technical reasons handover would be delayed until midnight New York time''.

Kelly said that ''later, by then 2:00 a.m. in Nicosia, the United Nations was informed that delivery would only be made the following morning in New York'' and ''accordingly, the Greek Cypriot envelope was returned to the Greek Cypriot side in the morning of 5 December 2002, having been kept in confidence in the interval''.

''The United Nations has protested to the Turkish Cypriot side, which has conveyed its apologies through the United Nations to the Greek Cypriot side,'' UNFICYP's spokesman said.

CNA/AZ/MK/RG/2002
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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